My best horror story is when I took a short, one evening demo workshop at my local pottery supply on throwing large by sections. I decided I would make a pot to challenge the vertical height of my kiln, and to fulfill my wife's wish to have a couple of large pots for our front stoop. I got three bags of "hybrid", between runs, clay from a local clay producer for the project.
For my first try I decided to work with 10 pound lumps on the potter's wheel, so made them up. The first night I threw the base, about 12 inches in diameter and 14-16" tall, measured the diameter and set it aside to firm up under light plastic cover. The second night I threw the mid section and set it aside to firm up and covered the first piece better to prevent further drying. Third night I decided to put the two sections together, set them aside and throw the top section. I threw the top, set it aside, and then put the two lower sections together. So far so good. Then I added the top section and started throwing it into place. At this point the three section were a bit over twenty inches high, so I had to stand to join them and work with them. While working them together I found my wheel to be speeding up, so I went to turn it down, and accidently went full on. Before I could stop the wheel the pot got off balance and slung around until it hit something and sheared off part of the wall, and collapsed the rest. Not too good.
Next version, I had a bit better experience with the sections and the project went a little faster. Pretty much the same steps, but closer together. As I put the top section on round 2, I dropped my long rib I was working the outside with next to my foot pedal; and you guessed it, while retrieving it I lost my balance and recovered by landing a hand on the pedal and going to full speed again.
On to round 3, and finally success! I still have the clay for the second pot, but haven't gotten back to the project. Spooked, I guess you could say!
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